What’s in YOUR Olive Oil?

My boys acting as "Product Models" to show you the size of a jug of our Olive Oil!  Aren't they cute?

My boys acting as “Product Models” to show you the size of a jug of our Olive Oil! Aren’t they cute?

In the same vein as my FPIES Eyes post from yesterday, last fall I was reading on the Food Renegade website and found this interesting article: Your Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Is Fake.

Well, hell.

All we USE is olive oil.  For our Food Allergic children.  So if they’re cutting the olive oil with OTHER oils, this could be a huge problem in terms of confusing food trial symptoms.

I mentioned it to the Geek, and he said “Interesting.”  A couple hours later, I started getting emails from him about olive oils.

So, I let the Geek take the reins of the Great Olive Oil Investigation.

Here’s what he found:

Though we haven’t read it, Tom Mueller wrote an entire book on the purity of olive oil: Extra Virginity.  He also maintains a blog about olive oil, and has a fabulous resource: a list of olive oils around the world, with reader reviews on each of them.

The Geek used that list to find the olive oil we now use.  He was drawn to the California Olive Oil producers thanks to a report done by the UC-Davis, called “Evaluation of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Sold in California“.

This report outlines the testing methodology used to determine that Tom Mueller and the Food Renegade folks were right: most imported olive oil is bunk.  Of the brands they tested, almost all of the California grown olive oils tested as 100% pure extra virgin olive oil.

That’s not to say that ALL California grown olive oils are safe, just that the ones they tested were – and nearly all the foreign ones were NOT.  So, probably a safer bet, for a Food Allergic Family, to stick with good ol’ USA grown olives.

The Geek picked Lucero to check into, and started an email exchange with them about their product.  Here’s how the Geek started the conversation:

Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 11:39 AM

To: mail@lucerooliveoil.com
Subject: Olive Oil for deep frying

We have children with allergies and need an olive oil for deep frying.  We need to be certain that this olive oil only contains olive products.  Do you provide an olive oil that is not Extra Virgin that would be cheaper than the extra virgin?  We plan to still use extra virgin for some frying, sauces, and salad dressings.

This may seem like a strange email, but we have recently read that some supermarket olive oils are adulterated with other oils and this is something we want to avoid.  I thought that Lucero might be able to provide me with information in navigating allergy needs.

And Lucero responded:

Hello (the Geek),

We only sell Extra Virgin olive oil, which is 100% from Olives nothing added. The olive oil is good up to 400 degrees F and we have used it for deep frying.

Our cheapest olive oil is our Arbequina in the 2.5 gallon jugs at $79.18

Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

Thank you,

Mallory Daily
Sales support
Lucero Olive Oil, LLC
Mail: PO Box 1018 | Corning | CA 96021
Shipping: 2120 Loleta Avenue | Corning | CA 96021
P | 877-330-2190   F | 530-824-1243
sales@lucerooliveoil.com   |   www.lucerooliveoil.com

 

So he decided to order from them, only….

Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 5:21 PM
To: Sales
Subject: Re: Olive Oil for deep frying

Mallory,

I do not see the 2.5 gallon jug on the website.  Do we need to special order that by phone or email?

And Mallory immediately responded:

Hello (the Geek),

Yes this order would be for whole sale pricing therefore it will all have to be done over the phone or via email.

Let me know what works best for you.

Thank you,

Mallory Daily
Sales support

__________

And that was that.  We placed an order via email, and within just a few days a gigantic jug of olive oil was on our front porch.  We were incredibly pleased with the product, so after we had used up the 2.5 gallons we bought in October, we had to order more a mere 2 months later!

That time, the Geek asked if they would have any problems with me writing about Lucero and our olive oil education, and Mallory said absolutely not, that I could find more information on their website, their blog, and then even sent the link to the UC-Davis study!

I’m a little slow…we had holidays, sickness, traveling and life to deal with, but I knew I had to share this information with you.  

FPIES and Food Allergy Mama’s have quite enough to deal with, thankyouverymuch, without fighting the mafia’s efforts to kill our children, don’t you think?  I’m all for making a buck, but not at the expense of our children’s safety.  If they want to ‘cut’ their “100% extra virgin olive oil” with a lesser quality olive  oil, I probably wouldn’t be all that upset.  Honestly, I’m no olive oil aficionado, so I probably wouldn’t even know!

The problem is, that by taste, I also wouldn’t know if they cut it with soybean oil or canola oil.  But if my son has a problem with either of those, and I didn’t know that he was receiving trace amounts of that protein through his supposedly “safe” olive oil, the Geek and I would be absolutely beside ourselves trying to figure out WHAT he was reacting to!

That is unimaginably evil.  

Food should be labeled properly; every single ingredient should be listed, and if an inquiry is made regarding the derivative source of any of those ingredients, the company should willingly spill the beans about where the ingredient comes from.  Period.  End of story.

If they want to tell me the name of the worker that manufactured that ingredient, I wouldn’t mind!  More information is a good thing.

And as long as we don’t insist on transparency, as long as we keep buying from businesses that have no respect for our children’s safety, the current obfuscation will continue.

Vote with your pocketbooks, folks.  Even if you don’t have a food allergy, Lucero oil is delicious, their customer support is top-notch, and they’re open and willing to discuss their production methods, their ingredients, and anything else you care to ask them.

THAT is a company that has earned my business…and my respect.

So, what’s in YOUR olive oil?  

__________

This post shared with Allergy Free WednesdaysWhole Food Wednesdays, and Real Food Wednesdays.   

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3 Responses to What’s in YOUR Olive Oil?

  1. Sarah Clements says:

    Wonderful to know! Have you looked into Tropical Tradition’s olive oil by chance?

    • Carrie says:

      You know, I haven’t! I left the olive oil research up to Darrel. 🙂 I know Tropical Traditions is awesome for coconut products, but I don’t know about their other products. Let me know if you look into it!

  2. Pingback: FAAW Frugal Friday – Grocery Shopping With Food Allergies - Cradle Rocking Mama

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